India’s new wildlife plan focuses on climate change, landscape management

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By Malavika Vyawahare

For the first time the plan incorporates areas like the impact of climate change on wildlife and habitats, and landscape management.

New Delhi : The environment ministry launched its third wildlife action plan, which shapes the management of wildlife across the country for the next 15 years, at the start of Wildlife Week — celebrated every year in the first week of October .

For the first time the plan incorporates areas like the impact of climate change on wildlife and habitats, and landscape management.

“The plan is landscape rather than sanctuary or national park-based,” environment minister Harsh Vardhan, said.

One of the controversial aspects of the new plan is development of a protocol for ‘euthanasia’ and ‘mercy killing’ of animals by 2019. The former is understood as the killing of an animal that is suffering, while the latter refers to killing off healthy animals for population management.

“Though it is a management tool, people will not accept such practices,” Tito Joseph programme manager at Wildlife Protection Society of India, said.

Participatory management is another thrust area for the plan. “Five crore Indians are directly or indirectly participating in the conservation of forests,” the environment minister said.

There has been confusion over implementation of laws that come into play in the protection of wildlife in the absence of an updated forest policy

Environmentalists said it was time to review the extent to which the objectives laid down in the last action plan were achieved.

Source: Hindustan Times

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